Many people are calling the Heat’s third loss this season to the Celtics, this past Sunday in Boston, proof that the Miami Heat players have a mental block about Boston. Let’s look at the two losses that were played in Boston. Not a lot of teams win games there to begin with. One of those two games was the first regular season game that LeBron, Wade and Bosh ever played together. The other one, played this last Sunday, came down to the final shot of the game.

The third loss was at home in just the ninth game of the season leaving the Heat with a record of 5-4. So clearly, they were still getting used to playing together at that time, and having a hard time in all of their games up to that point. None of these losses, looked at alone, would be considered shocking at all. If I were a Heat fan I would be encouraged that my team missed so many open shots and the game still came down to the final shot last Sunday in Boston.

We have seen the Heat come a long way since the start of the season and as Wade said following the game, “This is typical big brother stuff, and you got to get over it. I’ve been through it before; LeBron’s been through it before with the Pistons….You’ve got to get over the hump and we’re getting close, so we continue to learn from it.” To me that does not sound like a team with a mental block, but rather one with a mental edge. He was acknowledging the progress being made; at the same time realizing this was a learning opportunity and that more work needs to be done to get to the top of the mountain.

As Boston’s Rajon Rondo said after the game, “You can downplay it all you want, but this was a big game for us.” Clearly this game meant more to the Celtics than the Heat, considering the Celtics had lost three of their previous four games and the Heat came in riding an eight game winning streak. You can be sure if they meet up in the play-offs that the games will mean just as much to the Heat then, and I won’t be surprised if we see a different outcome.

I like that Miami seemed to approach this game as one of 82 rather than one of any special significance. I was especially impressed by the final play that coach Erik Spoelstra ran, a perfect play for the situation, not to LeBron or Wade, but one that got his best three point shooter on the floor a wide open three point shot. A head coach’s job is to put his players in a position to succeed and that is exactly what Spoelstra did, it just didn’t happen to work out in their favor this time.

So I don’t see a team with a mental block here at all, I see a team that is learning and growing into themselves. LeBron’s willingness to pass to the team’s best three point shooter rather than try to do it all himself, shows how much he wants to win the game and will go a long way into building the team’s future success. That means a lot more than beating the Celtics in a regular season game.

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